Marketing is a primary component of business management and commerce. It is defined as the activities undertaken by a company to promote the sale of its products or services. It can also be understood as a catalyst in consumer decisions to buy a product or service.
Broadly marketing can be grouped under online and offline channels. Online Marketing is mainly through SEM, social media, and email marketing, whereas Offline Marketing is carried out through traditional media like television, radio, print, and other offline channels like billboards, events, banners, etc.
Marketing in general is carried out through a strategic process that involves identifying and understanding the needs and wants of potential customers, creating a product or service that meets those needs, promoting it to the target audience, and ultimately selling it.
The marketing process typically involves the following steps:
Market research: This involves conducting research to understand the target audience, the competition, and the market trends.
Defining the target market: This involves identifying the specific group of people who are most likely to buy the product or service.
Developing the marketing mix: This involves developing a product or service that meets the needs of the target market, setting a price that is attractive to them, creating a promotion strategy that reaches them, and making it available to them through the right channels.
Implementing the marketing plan: This involves executing the marketing mix and monitoring its effectiveness.
Evaluating and adjusting the marketing plan: This involves analyzing the results of the marketing efforts and making adjustments to the marketing mix as necessary.
Marketing is an ongoing process that requires constant attention and adjustment to stay relevant and effective in a changing marketplace.
A marketing plan is developed strategically using 3 stages Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning (STP) of the product.
Segmentation happens based on Demography, Geography, Psychology, Behavioral, and Benefits based. This is evaluated using the MAADS framework.
Here is a brief overview of each component of this framework:
Mission: This refers to the marketing objectives that the company hopes to achieve through its marketing efforts. The mission is the foundation of the marketing plan and provides a clear direction for all marketing activities.
Analysis: This involves conducting research and analyzing market data to understand the target audience, their needs, and their behaviors. The analysis also includes an examination of the competition, market trends, and other external factors that may impact the marketing plan.
Advertising: This refers to the creation and execution of advertising campaigns across various media channels to promote the brand, product, or service. Advertising can be used to build brand awareness, communicate product benefits, and drive customer engagement.
Direct Marketing: This involves communicating directly with customers through channels such as email, direct mail, or telemarketing. Direct marketing can be personalized and targeted to specific customer segments to drive immediate response and conversion.
Sales Promotion: This involves the use of short-term incentives to encourage customer purchases, such as discounts, coupons, or free samples.
The MAADS framework provides a comprehensive approach to marketing planning and execution. It can be used to develop and implement marketing campaigns across various channels and touchpoints, with the ultimate goal of achieving the company's marketing objectives.
Targeting is carried out using strategies like Mass Marketing, Segmented Marketing, and Niche Marketing.
The positioning includes considering components like Product, Price, Place, and Promotion (4P's) channels. The evaluation of product positioning is done through perpetual maps.
It is a marketing tool used to visually represent how consumers perceive different products or brands in the marketplace. They are also called "positioning maps" or "attribute maps".
Perceptual maps display the relationship between different products or brands based on how consumers perceive them along two or more key attributes. The attributes may include factors such as price, quality, features, or style, depending on the product category.
The goal of a perceptual map is to help businesses understand how their products or brands are positioned relative to their competitors in the eyes of consumers. By identifying gaps or opportunities in the marketplace, businesses can adjust their marketing strategies to better meet the needs and preferences of their target audience.
The companies usually follow the above process of using the STP framework until they achieve stable sales targets. Every product lifecycle includes four stages initial, growth, stability, and decline. During the declining stage, the companies may take a call for discontinuing a product.
Let's take a simple example, say you launched a school fair for students from class 1 to 10, and you have a budget of 50 bucks as an initial investment. You decided to prepare 3 different kinds of chocolate- candies, milk bars, and chocolate bars since you classified your audience based on demographic segmentation considering their age and psychology.
Since you knew all children would not buy sweets you used segment-based targeting by creating 3 groups primary, secondary grade, and high school going while targeting more playful students as they will tend to burn out more.
You placed your candy shop next to the school gate while keeping the price of candies lower than the price of milk and chocolate bars which were medium to high. You considered such a placement since high school kids get pocket money whereas primary-class students normally don't carry cash. You also used banners in the entryway and school bulletin board to promote your sweet shop. The total sales were 100 bucks which gave a profit of 50 bucks.
With this example, you understood how marketing is carried out using the STP framework, and the 4Ps of positioning your product are carried out to generate high revenue.
Marketing frameworks provide businesses with a structured approach to developing and executing effective marketing strategies. They help businesses achieve their marketing goals more efficiently and gain a competitive advantage in their industry.
There are many marketing frameworks, models, and concepts that marketers can use to analyze, plan, and execute marketing strategies. Here are some of the most popular and widely used marketing frameworks:
STP framework: This framework stands for Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. It is a widely used approach for developing marketing strategies that are focused on meeting the needs of specific groups of customers. The STP framework involves breaking down the market into smaller segments, evaluating the attractiveness of each segment, and developing a unique positioning strategy that appeals to the needs and preferences of the target customers. By using the STP framework, companies can create more effective and targeted marketing strategies that are better aligned with their customers' needs and expectations.
SWOT Analysis: This framework helps companies identify their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, which can inform their marketing strategy and decision-making.
Porter's Five Forces: This framework helps companies assess the competitiveness of their industry and the bargaining power of suppliers, buyers, substitutes, and potential entrants, which can help inform their market positioning and pricing strategy.
The Marketing Mix (4 Ps): This framework is a classic marketing concept that focuses on four key elements of marketing strategy: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
The Customer Value Proposition: This framework helps companies articulate the unique value that their product or service provides to their target customers, which can guide their marketing messaging and positioning.
The Customer Journey Map: This framework helps companies visualize and understand the customer's experience and interactions with their brand, which can help them identify opportunities for improvement and optimize their marketing channels and touchpoints.
The MAADS framework: This refers to a marketing model developed by Don E. Schultz that provides a structured approach to developing a marketing strategy by focusing on five key elements: Mission, Analysis, Advertising, Direct Marketing, and Sales Promotion the details of which have been explained above.
Different frameworks can be useful for different purposes and in different contexts, and it's important for marketers to choose the right tools for their specific needs and goals.
There are various marketing models that businesses use to promote their products or services. Here are some of the most popular types of marketing models:
The Five Cs: This model looks at five key factors that businesses need to consider when creating a marketing plan – customers, company, competitors, collaborators, and climate.
The AIDA Model: This model outlines the stages of the customer journey – attention, interest, desire, and action – and how businesses can use these stages to create effective marketing campaigns. The latest version of this model is the AIDAA.
The Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) Model: This model looks at the potential lifetime value of a customer and helps businesses determine how much they can invest in acquiring and retaining customers.
The Ansoff Matrix: This model helps businesses determine their growth strategy by analyzing their current product offerings and potential new markets.
The Marketing Funnel: This model outlines the stages of the customer journey from awareness to purchase and helps businesses create a marketing strategy that targets customers at each stage.
The most effective marketing model for a business depends on various factors such as the industry, target market, and marketing goals.
Types of Marketing
There are several types of marketing, each with its own unique characteristics, strategies, and goals. Here are some of the most common types of marketing:
Digital vs Offline Marketing: Digital marketing refers to any form of marketing that uses digital channels, such as the Internet, social media, email, mobile apps, search engines, and digital advertising. Offline marketing, also known as traditional marketing, refers to any form of marketing that uses non-digital channels, such as print media, TV, radio, direct mail, billboards, and events.
Experiential vs Interactive Marketing: Experiential marketing involves creating immersive experiences for customers that allow them to interact with the brand in a unique and memorable way. This can include pop-up events, brand activations, and experiential installations. Interactive marketing involves using digital channels to engage with customers and create a two-way conversation. Interactive marketing methods include quizzes, games, polls, surveys, chatbots, and social media campaigns.
Direct vs Indirect Marketing: Direct marketing involves communicating directly with customers through targeted, personalized messages that are designed to generate a response or action. Examples of direct marketing methods include direct mail, email marketing, telemarketing, SMS marketing, and targeted online advertising. Indirect marketing, also known as brand marketing, involves promoting a brand, product, or service through non-promotional content, such as blogs, social media, PR, and events. Indirect marketing methods include content marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, and event marketing.
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: Inbound marketing involves creating valuable content and experiences that attract customers to your brand naturally, rather than interrupting them with ads or promotions. Examples of inbound marketing methods include blogging, social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, and email marketing. Outbound marketing, also known as traditional marketing, involves pushing promotional messages out to a wider audience through interruptive channels such as TV ads, billboards, telemarketing, cold calling, and direct mail.
Guerrilla vs Traditional Marketing: Guerrilla marketing is a creative and unconventional approach to marketing that relies on low-cost, high-impact tactics to create buzz and generate attention for a brand or product. Examples of guerrilla marketing tactics include viral marketing, experiential marketing, street marketing, ambush marketing, and unconventional PR. Traditional marketing, also known as outbound marketing, is a more established and mainstream approach to marketing that relies on paid advertising and promotional messages to reach a wider audience. Examples of traditional marketing methods include TV ads, radio ads, print advertising, billboards, direct mail, and telemarketing.
The type of marketing that a company chooses will depend on its goals, target audience, budget, and resources.
In this article, we have shed light on different aspects of marketing in the hope to help other amateur marketers in their journey toward successful marketing.
It is always good to have a glossary of marketing terms, this article strives to provide the same.